Raith defender questions fighting spirit in derby defeat

Ross Callachan sends a header towards goal - Cowdenbeath v Raith Rovers at Central Park. Pic: Neil Doig
Ross Callachan sends a header towards goal - Cowdenbeath v Raith Rovers at Central Park. Pic: Neil Doig

Raith Rovers defender Dougie Hill called on the team to show more fighting spirit after they failed to score for a fifth match running.

The 1-0 derby defeat to Cowdenbeath at Central Park also means Rovers now have the worst record in the division over the past eight games as they continue to slide down the table.

Centre-half Hill believes that the team has to learn to win ugly if they are to turn their poor form around.

“I don’t know if it’s a lack of fighting spirit - or if it’s just coming across that way - but we’re losing games that, at the beginning of the season, we would’ve won,” Hill said.

“It’s alright playing nice football when the surfaces are good but when the weather gets worse boys have to dig in.

“It’s frustrating getting beat for that reason because, technically, we’re as good as any team in the league.

“We should be in the top four but we’re letting ourselves down. Everyone needs to step it up a bit.

“We need to win ugly before the confidence comes back.”

Rovers never looked like ending their goal drought at Central Park on a day where heavy rain and strong winds made playing conditions difficult.

“We played into their hands by hitting high balls up to them but there’s not much more you can do when the pitch is that small and the weather conditions so bad,” Hill explained.

“It’s a wee tight park, and it was windy, wet and heavy underfoot conditions.

“It’s hard for them as well but if you’re playing on it every second week it becomes a wee bit of an advantage.

“That’s not reason we got beat though - it came down to fight. They had more of it.

“They wanted it more in the second half and it showed.”

Hill hopes this Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie at Hibs can prove to be a turning point for Rovers.

“This could be the kind of game that turns our season,” he said.

“If we can beat them it will give us some confidence back and then we can look to go on a run again.

“Hopefully we’ll get a wee bit more time to play football, but we’ll need to be up for the battle as well.

“Terry Butcher will have them fired up.”